Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cake Decorating 101: Selected Titles

Shelley Moore recommends some of her favorite cake decorating books.

Thinking about getting into a new hobby? How about cake decorating!

I have been decorating cakes for more than two years. I have made sheet cakes, two-layer round cakes, and pound cakes. I got into cake decorating because I love looking at wedding cakes and I wanted to create some of that magic, too. My next project is to work towards making my first wedding cake.

First, you need a cake. If you are short on time or just have trouble with making cakes from scratch, The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn is a great start. With these recipes, you can take a plain, box cake mix and create a cake your mother could have made.

Next, you will need a basic decorating book. Complete Cake Decorating by Angela Nilsen is a wonderful example. Nilsen suggests the tools, ingredients, and techniques that will make your cake the talk of the party. For example, she demonstrates several techniques for using piping to create designs.

Also, I have found that Marcianne Miller’s The Artful Cupcake is a great resource. Even though Miller deals with cupcakes, her recipes for cupcakes and frostings are fantastic.

Cake decorating is an adventure--an adventure that will take time and patience. Many times (and I do mean many) your cake will not look the way you want it to look, but just take a deep breath, keep practicing and keeping adding your own special style.

Shelley Moore, Raleigh Branch Library

Anne Byrn, "The Cake Mix Doctor," will be at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Tuesday, March 11 at 11:00 a.m. More information.

photo credit: Jacob Leistner ("Bunko"),

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Better be careful, Shelley, or I might put you to work making my wedding cake next May! -amb
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